Melrose 25 Boroughmuir 34: Aitchison hails fight back

BOROUGHMUIR battled back from a 10-20 deficit at half-time to turn the tables on Melrose in a topsy-turvy game.

Chris Laidlaw was the architect of the win. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Chris Laidlaw was the architect of the win. Picture: Gordon Fraser

But while victory included a bonus point with four tries, the success was tempered by the red card handed out to lock Finn Field by referee Ken Allen.

However, it did not deter coach Bruce Aitchison from celebrating a win that looked beyond the club at the interval. “By half-time, we could have been out of the game, but the way we managed it after that was first class,” he said.

Melrose also collected a bonus point thanks to Fraser Thomson’s injury-time try, but it was too late to salvage more than that. “I was hugely disappointed to ship so many points and we did not have control in the second half,” said coach John Dalziel. “We made some poor decisions, kicked the ball away, and the game should have been away from them at half-time.”

The game ended dramatically when Field was sent off for a second yellow card and Thomson scored in injury time, but were unable to convert for a losing bonus point. Chris Laidlaw was the chief architect in the win with a try, four conversions and two penalties for a total of 19 points. Bruce Dick and Lewis Carmichael scored the early tries, sandwiched by a Laidlaw penalty. Jamie Bhatti added a third and Jason Baggott converted for 17-3 lead. Baggot stretched the lead with a penalty but Boroughmuir grabbed a lifeline near the interval when Callum Reid drove over and Laidlaw converted.

In the second half, Grant McConnell took advantage of a mistake to score and Laidlaw converted before squaring the game at 20-20 with his second penalty. Boroughmuir went ahead for the first time eight minutes from the end with a Jack Cosgrove try converted by Laidlaw. Laidlaw sealed the points and the bonus point with a try and conversion before Thomson’s try.

Scorers: Melrose – Tries: Dick, Carmichael, Bhatti, Thomson. Con: Baggott. Pen: Baggott

Boroughmuir – Tries: Reid, McConnell, Cosgrove, Laidlaw. Cons: Laidlaw (4). Pens: Laidlaw (2).

Melrose: F Thomson; N Godsmark, B Dick, T Galbraith, S Pecquer; J Baggott, M McAndrew; J Bhatti, R Ferguson, N Beavon, J Head, L Carmichael, N Irvine-Hess, G Runciman, G Dodds. Subs: R McLeod, D Elkington, A Nagle, J Helps, B Colvine.

Boroughmuir: C Marshall; E Farquharson, A Cox, G Cannie, G McConnell; C Laidlaw, R Smith; R Wilson, S Crombie, C Bachurzewski, I Moody, F Field, C Reid, A Rose, M Bradbury. Subs: C Davies, J Cosgrove, S Gibson, D Steele, R van Balkom.

Referee: K Allen.